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Wall Street Confesses to Ills of Bonuses February 28, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Main, On the crisis, Opinion.
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Have a look at this one as well, its worth your time. Here is what the article’s author has to say: “During my 17 years on Wall Street, no one ever got rewarded for questioning whether what we were all selling — I was selling merger advice — was right, wrong or indifferent. Our only rewards came from selling our services, day in, day out. We hoped what we were doing was ethical — and legal — but there was no upside in questioning authority or what we sold or how we sold it.”

Shanghai Raises Minimum Wage 13% February 28, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Main, On the crisis, Science and technology, Trade.
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Read this, China is changing and higher wages are related to the structure of the employment pool and the cost of doing business there. Also note the minimum wage in Shanghai, after the raise, was $230 = 172 euro – so we are not there yet!

Buffett: Banks Victimized by Excesses of Ousted Homeowners February 28, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Main, On the crisis, Opinion.
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Now, this one you should read to the end – not just for the title but for some serious pointers about the inflation and the burst of the housing bubble. The source is Bloomberg.

Greece Running Out of Alternatives: Krugman February 28, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Fiscal policy, Main, Monetary policy, News on Greece, On the crisis, Opinion.
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Its from Bloomberg, nothing entirely new but have a look…

The breakdown in economic sentiment synchronization February 25, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Main, News on Greece, On the crisis, Science and technology.
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Following up on this earlier post about the evolution in economic sentiment in Europe, we (Fotis Papailias and myself) actually wrote the paper on the breakdown of the sentiment cyles. You can have a quick look of several charts here and the full paper can be downloaded here. Any comments about this paper would be very welcomed.

Buffett Reveals Warts as He Prepares Annual Letter February 24, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Main, Opinion.
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An interesting article from Bloomberg, about the investment mistakes of Warren Buffett and his way of acknowledging them and moving ahead. Here is the gist in two paragraphs from the article (but you should read the whole thing):

“A friend once asked me: If you’re so rich, why aren’t you smart?” Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman, said in a letter accompanying the 1996 annual report. The billionaire, describing a bet on USAir, told readers at the time, “You may conclude he had a point.”(!) and then,

“He doesn’t hesitate to point this stuff out, and it’s not just for the shareholders,” said James Armstrong, president of Berkshire investor Henry H. Armstrong Associates. “It’s also for the employees and managers of Berkshire. It’s sending the message: Admit your mistakes, don’t pretend they didn’t happen.”

Saved from California! February 24, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Main, News on Greece, On the crisis.
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Go to the end of this Bloomberg article and see how innovative solutions still exist for th Greek problem!!!

Greek Bailout Wins Two Cheers From Wary Investors but Doubts persist over Europe’s new Greece deal February 22, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Fiscal policy, Main, News on Greece, On the crisis, Opinion.
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After a few days pause we are back! Two articles from Bloomberg and Reuters about the recent events on the new debt relief deal. Read the Bloomberg article here and the Reuters one here. There is also this opinion piece, also from Reuters’ Felix Salmon, on  “Euro zone’s improbable Greece plan” (Reuters is always more skeptical than Bloomberg and Salmon has written some recent pessimistic pieces about Greece, look for them for extra info).

Congress ends bitter tax battle with bill passage February 18, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Fiscal policy, Main, On the crisis, Opinion.
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Its worth reading this, both for its political and economic sense. Here is a neat statement: “In the end, both sides compromised for the good of our country, which is exactly how the American people expect their elected leaders to work.”

Germany Must Decide What the European Union Is For February 16, 2012

Posted by proeconomia in Fiscal policy, Main, Monetary policy, News on Greece, On the crisis, Opinion.
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A solid piece from Bloomberg, worth your morning coffee time. It points to several shortcomings of the way things are being dealt with today and puts some US-realism into the process (which calls for the ECB to take some losses too). Read it through. Here are some interesting excerpts:

“Today one wonders, what did Germany think “political union,” which it both argued for and proclaimed, ever meant? Germany pressed harder than anybody for the end of the nation- state in Europe, yet its policy is guided now by the conviction that German taxpayers should on no account be asked to support their fellow European citizens in Greece.”

“Moreover, the current policy imposes such ferocious punishment on European citizens in Greece, Ireland, Portugla and Spain that it becomes self-defeating. Certainly, in Greece, government spending was out of control, taxes were not being collected and the public accounts were a joke. But the adjustment now being demanded of it — and the demands never seem to end — is extreme.”

“t’s one thing for Europe’s other governments to demand that Greek politicians do a better job, but quite another to say that the people of Greece — citizens of the post-national Europe that Kohl heralded — should bear the entire burden of their leaders’ incompetence. Doesn’t “political union” imply a bit more borderless solidarity than that?”

and in the end:

“If Germany wants European political union, it needs to recognize its obligations toward EU citizens wherever they live. If it doesn’t want that union, it should stop saying it does.”

The different approaches to the Greek problem from US and UK/European media are sometimes profound…

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